He was born as Herbert Weisz in Vienna, Austria and began his career as a director at Shrewsbury Repertory Company in 1950.
He was at Hull Rep and then as Director of Productions at Dundee Rep (1952–55).
He directed So what about Love in the West End at the Criterion Theatre in a 1970 production with Sheila Hancock in the lead.
Wise began his television career in 1956 and directed adaptations of I, Claudius (1976) and Alan Ayckbourn’s play cycle The Norman Conquests (1977), episodes of Tales of the Unexpected, 10th Kingdom, The Woman in Black (1989), some of the Cadfael television films and three episodes of Inspector Morse.
Wise also directed two films, an entry in the Edgar Wallace Mysteries second feature series, a thriller entitled To Have and to Hold (1963), and the film version of the television sit-com The Lovers (1973).
He also directed the made-for-TV film Skokie (1981), and other made-for-TV films such as Breaking the Code (1996), adapted from the Hugh Whitemore play about Alan Turing.
He was married twice, firstly to the actress Moira Redmond (1963–1972), and after their divorce to actress Fiona Walker in 1988.
The couple have two children; Susannah Wise and Charlie Walker-Wise.